4 Ways to Avoid Foot & Ankle Injuries While Exercising
When getting back into a workout routine after an extended break, you’re likely to face many obstacles. You may have a busy schedule, or you may just dread working out and come up with thousands of excuses to skip your workout that day. Perhaps you’re recovering from surgery or trying to lose a significant amount of weight. Whatever your reason may be, injury should not be holding you back from getting some exercise, even if it’s modified for your safety. To that end, it is very important to keep your feet in good shape to avoid injuries like sprains, strains, broken toes or hyperextension. By following these tips you are likely to decrease your chances of getting hurt exercising.
- Stretch- Every good athlete knows that the key to avoiding injury is stretching. Stretching is crucial, even for beginners, for avoiding stress fractures, muscle strains and sprains. It is important to get a good stretch in before and after your workout. Aim for five minutes of warm up and cool down time in your regimen. Stretches for the feet, ankles and legs should include lunges, ankle rolls, calf raises to stretch the toes, foam rolling, and rolling a tennis ball under the arch of the foot.
- Gradually work your way up- When starting a new workout routine, it’s easy to think you have to do the hardest workout for the longest length of time to get the most out of the workout. This couldn’t be further from the truth! It is important to gradually work your way up to your fitness goals, both mentally and physically. Not only will you be more likely to stick to a new routine, but your body will have time to develop physical and cardiovascular strength as you slowly increase the intensity of your workout. Injuries are frequent for new exercisers who tend to rush into too much too soon.
- Wear the right shoes- Always wear athletic shoes when exercising. Your shoes should have a good arch and padding on the heel to prevent injury, and for any sport involves weights, be sure you’re wearing closed toe shoes as well. Wearing non-athletic shoes while exercising, or going barefoot for anything other than yoga, barre or other exercise where bare feet is appropriate, increases your chances of sprains or damage to the bottom of your foot. Wearing cotton non-slip socks can also help to prevent blisters.
- Use proper technique- It’s easy to get injured while exercising if you’re not using the proper technique, easily damaging the tendens or ligaments in your feet and ankles. If you are new to exercising, it’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer or attend exercise classes to be sure you are using optimal form.
Although foot injuries are common when exercising, following these tips will likely decrease or eliminate your chances of injury. If you are experiencing pain in the feet, ankles or legs during or after exercise, you should see a podiatrist right away to ensure you aren’t doing more damage. Click here to request an appointment with one of our podiatric specialists!
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